'Nothing will stand in the way of continuing direct payments to farmers'
The EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan has said that "nothing will stand in the way of ha
The Commissioner was speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels yesterday and said that
In relation to the CAP strategic plans, he said that while they cover Pillar 1 and PIllar 2, it does not mean that both have to approved at the same time.
When asked if there was a possibility that next year's elections to the European Parliament could affect the approval process for the CAP framework being signed off.
"Pillar 1 will continue to provide direct payments, with the conditionality of a higher level of climate and environmental ambition and nothing will stand in the way of continuing to have payments made to farmers - from the EU's side. And, hopefully Member States will be ready.
"I don't think anyone in the EU side has ever held up payments to farmers. It always has been the level of investment in IT and technology and all the programmes that are required to be put in place by the Member States."
Hogan went on to say that he expects Member States to be ready from January 1, 2021 and the EU is operating to that timescale.
The Multiannual Financial Framework will be published in May, he said, and after that the sectoral proposals will follow that, "hopefully, in good time to allow our co-legislators time to evaluate all of the details and to decide, if they wish, to proceed immediately to discuss the contents and to reach an agreement if they wish to do so before the European elections in 2019.